By arguing for the importance of all the agents involved in a work's production and reception, and the significance of external sources (e.g. publishers’ archives) alongside the text as bibliographical evidence, McKenzie pioneered the intellectual movement that opened traditional textual and historical bibliography to the history of the book. His two-volume Cambridge University Press, 1696–1712 (1966) and his article ‘Printers of the Mind’ in Studies in Bibliography (1969), called into question many common assumptions. In a career marked by highly innovative scholarship, he also edited records of 17th- and 18th-century Stationers’ Company apprentices (1961–78), the works of Congreve (2009), and, with Maureen Bell, the Chronology and Calendar of Documents Relating to the London Book Trade, 1641–1700 (3 vols, 2005). Professor of bibliography and textual criticism at Oxford, he was one of the general editors of the Cambridge History of the Book in Britain (1999–).
From The Oxford Companion to the Book in Oxford Reference.